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December’s Dodge Momentum Index Shows Solid Construction Planning Momentum

Jan. 12, 2023

The Dodge Momentum Index (DMI), published monthly by Dodge Construction Network improved +6.6% (2000=100) in December to 222.2 points from the revised November reading of 208.3 points.

In December, the commercial component of the DMI rose 8.4%, and the institutional component ticked up +2.7%. The DMI is a monthly measure of the initial report for nonresidential building projects in planning. It’s shown to lead construction spending for nonresidential buildings by a full year.

“One of the key construction story lines for 2022 was the return of enthusiasm and optimism in prospects for nonresidential growth,” said Richard Branch, chief economist for Dodge Construction Network, in the press release. “While some of that will likely erode in 2023 as economic growth wanes, increased demand for some building types like data centers, labs and healthcare buildings will provide a solid floor for the construction sector.”

Commercial planning in December was supported by broad-based increases across office, warehouse, retail and hotel planning. Meanwhile, institutional growth focused on recreation and public building, with education and health-care planning activity remaining flat. On a year-over-year basis, the DMI was +40% higher than in Dec. 2021; the commercial component was up 51%; and institutional planning was +20% higher.

A total of 15 projects with a value of $100 million or more entered planning in December. The leading commercial projects included a $500-million Vantage Data Center in Sterling, VA, and a $183-million mixed-use building in Chicago. The leading institutional projects were the $400-million Acute Neuropsychiatric Hospital in Los Angeles and a $185-million life sciences building in Philadelphia.